Legislation Vs. Darwin


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TechBrute
March 16, 2003, 11:31 PM
So I've never been an evolutionist, per se, but I really think that Darwin had something with that whole survival of the fittest thing. Here's my theory:

Legislation counteracts Darwinism. There are so many laws about so many things these days, that stupid people find it harder and harder to kill themselves off. This leads to more and more stupid people having stupid offspring. My basis for this opinion is over-legislated places like CA, NYC, PRNJ, etc. have a disproportionate number of stupid people electing stupid politicians that enact stupid laws that protect stupid people that elect stupid politicians, etc. It's a viscious circle. The more stupid people, the more stupid politicians, the more stupid laws, the more stupid people...

:banghead:

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Airwolf
March 17, 2003, 12:30 AM
Ah! A mind reader.

My pet theory is that as people live in more and more crowded surroundings the survival mechanism changes from one of “take care of yourself and your own first” to “prevent anyone from doing anything bad”.

Unfortunately laws have no effect on those that would break them so bad things still happen. I’ve heard it said that humans are the only species that will keep doing the same things that don’t work under the same circumstances and expect different results. Our current legal system is a perfect example of that in action.

The “smarter” humans become the more we seem to want to distance ourselves from nature as if in order to be “civilized” we have to deny our ancestry.

http://flymeaway.net/images/rant.gif

I have worked on a college campus as a travel agent in a previous life. This is a prestigious school where you have to be sharp to get in the door. Kids studying medical and engineering sciences so far over my head I’d need a ladder to figure out what they are doing. These “bright kids” were for the most part totally clueless about everyday life. They’d come in asking about going somewhere. After the "where?" question would come “When would you like to go?” and I'd get the dumbest deer-in-the-headlights looks that you could imagine (what, you mean I just can’t walk on any plane at any time?) After this came “Do you have a calendar?” at which time I’d point out the one on the counter directly in front of them. Another favorite was “I’d like to go to Europe this summer.” When I’d ask “Where in Europe would you like to go?”, a typical response was “Duhhhhhh, uhhhhhhh…. I haven’t really thought about it.”

Students (and faculty) that couldn’t read a simple itinerary printed in plain English. People that signed invoices clearly stating the ticket you are purchasing is “non-refundable and non-changeable” and then come back in raising holy hell when we (or the airline) wouldn’t refund or change the ticket. Some actually even arguing “But I didn’t know what I was signing!” (BTW that’s the AIRLINES rule, not the agency).

This was about 10 years ago so these people are out there now, creating the world that we are living in…. http://flymeaway.net/images/omg.gif

Darwin has been so short circuited by our current “civilization” that I despair of a long term future for our species.

Sorry for the rant all. One of my major hot-button issues.

XLMiguel
March 17, 2003, 11:07 AM
Interesting theory, with perhaps a grain of truth, or at least reality to it. You can't legislate common sense, but you can indemnify stupidity. It shifts the blame and allows the stupid to believe "It's not my fault," so they continue to act stupidly. It also encourages society to tolerate, if not accept stupidty, and so it grows.

Unfortunately, many of these stupid people vote. Worse still, they don't accept the responsibility for their own lives in general, and safety in particular, and expect the .gov to take care of them, further weakening us all, not to mention the cost of it all.

Handy
March 17, 2003, 11:22 AM
Evolution has not had a major impact on people since we first started acting like people. Cooperative society, medicine, and law are all counter to any sort of "survival of the fittest" events.

I get what you're saying, but the human world is not composed of individual dog-eat-dog conflicts. Nor should it be. I don't know anyone who raises their own food, makes their clothes and shelter and does scientific and engineering research. We all rely on the "stupid people", even if we don't agree with them at all times.

If you want to become the top of the social food chain, become very rich. Then you can do what you please.

If you don't like how your society is evolving, become an influential force for change.

Double Naught Spy
March 17, 2003, 01:16 PM
A lot of culture counteracts evolutionary processes. For example, with guns, one need not be the fittest to survive. We keep those alive that otherwise would succomb to various maladies via health care. There is all sorts of ways you can look at it. In other words, through various cultural constructs, we have individuals living long enough to pass on their genes to the next generation that would not have survived to pass on genes without culture. That means we get to pass on many non-beneficial traits or predispositions for those traits.

A keynote speaker at the Geological Society of America gave a neat talk a few years back. He wondered what our view would have been had Darwin not been a westerner exposed to various theories on natural selection buy an easterner whose beliefs included luck. Instead of survival of the fittest, we would have survival of the luckiest as a paradigm. This speaker then went on to explain several Darwinian concepts via survival of the luckiest instead of survival of the fittest and was able to argue in a very convincing manner that without a lot of changes, survival of the fittest is only slightly different in perspective from survival of the luckiest. In several instances, he was even able to show where survival of the fittest did not work. For example, you may have been the biggest, baddest, most virile buck living on Mt. St. Helens, the result of countless generations of very healthy ancestry that was very well adapted to living in that area. Then the mountain blew up and your genetic contribution immediately ceased in the population. However, there was this scrawny little deer that count not compete with the big macho bucks on St. Helens and he was chased away from the mountain prior to the eruption. After the eruption, the luckiest was the one who got to start the next generation and it was not the biggest baddest and most virile deer, but the scrawny one who was initially chased away.

I am not saying Survival of the Luckiest is a completely valid perspective, but evolution does not operate based solely on genetics, but also circumstance.

Oleg Volk
March 17, 2003, 01:48 PM
people find it harder and harder to kill themselves off

So long as gravity and high perches exist, suicides will be more limited by the lack of desire to check out than by the lack of opportunity. If you are referring to accidental deaths, then I'd say it is a good thing.

dongun
March 17, 2003, 02:15 PM
We just need to lower the smart standard, so less people will be classified as stupid. See how logical and easy it is?

Moondancer
March 17, 2003, 06:23 PM
OSHA - Keeping Stupid People Safe Since 1971!

I've been saying for at least 10 years that Survival of the Fittest fell by the wayside simultaneously with the inception of OSHA.

Enough said.

Handy
March 17, 2003, 07:04 PM
OSHA is there to keep that idiot from dropping I-beams on smart people.

Triad
March 17, 2003, 08:19 PM
Handy, smart people don't walk under I beams suspended from a crane. Really smart people stay away from construction areas if they aren't working there.

Handy
March 17, 2003, 08:22 PM
Triad,

Smart people understand analogies and can recognize them without having them explicitly labled or explained.


Basic version: OSHA keeps idiots from hurting people and filing unnecessary compensation claims due to their own negligence.

twoblink
March 17, 2003, 10:02 PM
I'd laugh and poopoo all over these statements... if they were so true.. :scrutiny: :banghead:

Joe Demko
March 18, 2003, 09:33 AM
As a biologist, I'm not at all sure that you can lump everybody you dislike based on politics and other societal matters together under the label "stupid" and then make any legitimate connection to evolution. Please also remember that "survival of the fittest" doesn't automatically mean biggest and strongest or smartest. It simply means "best adapted to the prevailing environmental conditions." During the "Black Plague" era, for example, the "fittest" would have been those who had some natural resistance to bubonic plague. Being strong and smart, but susceptible to yersinia pestis, would have resulted in you "being cleansed from the gene pool." Too much of what people think they know about Darwinism springs from 19th century British attitudes geared mainly towards rationalizing the existence of their empire and their treatment of their darker-skinned subjects.

TechBrute
March 18, 2003, 10:44 AM
As a biologist, I'm not at all sure that you can lump everybody you dislike based on politics and other societal matters together under the label "stupid" and then make any legitimate connection to evolution.
I am acting in the liberal sense, basing much on emotion and little on fact. I am perfectly happy in my own little world that I function in. :neener:

I honestly didn't expect to be taken seriously. :banghead:

Double Naught Spy
March 18, 2003, 11:53 AM
Taking Golgo's words to heart, comparing those with our society, survival of the fittest is not looking all that great for our supposed highly advanced society. I think I will go back to survival of the luckiest and buy a lottery ticket.

bogie
March 18, 2003, 12:03 PM
Heh - I work with a buncha Piled High & Deep folks...

I swear, some of 'em get dressed by their spouses before they are driven to work, little lunch pails packed and everything... But in their fields, they're the top minds.

We do a large internal conference every year. I love watching the attendees - You can tell who bought a suit upon commencement of the Job Hunt, and who still has it... And who still WEARS it for Important Events. After 15-20 years of employment. I actually saw a leisure suit last year.

pax
March 18, 2003, 02:50 PM
Please also remember that "survival of the fittest" doesn't automatically mean biggest and strongest or smartest. It simply means "best adapted to the prevailing environmental conditions."
That would mean that the more flocculent members of society have an edge these past few years...

pax

fallingblock
March 19, 2003, 02:12 AM
Thanks for injecting that bit of bio-realism into the thread.
Folks inevitably confuse Darwinian theory with 'social Darwinism'; to the detriment of all;)
And then there's historical contingency tugging on all the other parameters of fitness..:rolleyes:

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